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He planted a small elderberry bush – The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd

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He planted a small elderberry bush – The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd

Cyrus went into the kitchen and came back with a small glass of whiskey poured from the bottle he kept on the back shelf of the cupboard.

“Drink this,” he said. “It will dull the pain.”

He pushed the glass into her hands and guided it to her mouth.

He sat on the bed and held her in his arms as she continued to sob. In time the weariness of such heartache overcame her and she closed her eyes.

Once she was asleep, Cyrus swaddled the infant in a square of cloth and carried the bundle to the barn.
That afternoon he took the pine he’d cut for the baby’s cradle and fashioned it into a box for burial. In one board he’d already carved a small heart. That piece he placed facing in so the boy would know he was loved. As he worked, a stream of tears rolled down his face and disappeared into the thick of his beard.

When the box was ready, Cyrus spread a layer of soft hay across the bottom and placed the baby on top of it. He stood there for several moments stroking the infant with his roughened finger then he gently folded the cloth across the child’s face and nailed the coffin closed. On the outside of the box he wrote, Matthew Dodd, boy child of Ruth and Cyrus Dodd. Born dead, September 29, 1926.

Matthew was the name they had planned for the child.

It was two days before Ruth was strong enough to climb out of the bed. By then Cyrus had already buried the small box on the high ridge. To mark the spot he planted a small elderberry bush.

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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